A Cave Swallow was reported yesterday by Gilles Belliveau and others at Cape Spear, near Cape Tormentine. The swallow was flying around a house and adjacent fields at civic 433 on Route 960.

Cave Swallow is a southern swallow that breeds in the extreme southwest of the US as well as Mexico and there is a separate population breeding in the Caribbean. Obviously, it's very rare here.

This morning I found a Cave Swallow hawking insects with a Barn Swallow at civic 345 on Route 960, approximately one kilometer north of civic 433 were it was seen yesterday. Some rather poor photos taken but enough to confirm it's Cave.

 That's the good news. The bad news is that the Cave Swallow eventually flew off toward the north, high over trees. But at least it was still in the area.

 I waited to see if the bird might return to civic 345 but it didn't during the 15 minutes I had available. I also checked at civic 433 but nothing there either.

 It's possible the bird has moved on, but who knows how many Cave Swallows might be scattered around? Previous November incursions of Cave Swallows have sometimes involved more than one report and sometimes more than one individual. In fact, the Cave Swallow I saw this morning may not have been the same one reported yesterday as today's swallow had a Barn Swallow companion.

 I'd suggest birders check that entire area over the next few days. A pattern of November Cave Swallow appearances in this area of the province has evolved over the past decade.

 Remember, there is also a Barn Swallow also in area so look carefully. Cave has cinnamon rump, square tail, grey nape, cinnamon forehead. They dart very quickly so look carefully.

Jim Wilson


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It's great for all birders to have the opportunity to see some of these rare species dropping by our province recently.

I'm enjoying your 'rather poor images', Jim. Think they are much more than just documentary.

Great job in getting such good photos of the Cave Swallow, Jim!!

I relocated the Cave swallow the morning of November 6 near civic #393.

Jim and Karen, how many are each of you up to now for the year?

I'm up to 294 and Jim is just a few behind me! Very exciting year!


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